by Kelly Godzwa
“That’s a loaded question!” I replied, reaching for a desk lamp to bring a little more light to our Monday morning Zoom meeting. Glancing at my husband seated next to me, I was puzzled by his questioning look as he also replied, but with much better poise, “Fine, doing well.”
Why did I react so strongly to the question of greeting this morning? Initially, it may have been that I wasn’t fine. My eyes were extremely itchy. Something in the environment was causing an allergic reaction. Or could it be that my calendar for the day had events and reminders scattered closely together from 6 AM to 8:30 PM? First day of college for our youngest? Our daughter’s car in the shop?
When someone asks how I am, I realize it isn’t always the time or place to be completely honest or revealing. Sometimes, it’s just a greeting, a cordial question we use to say “hello.” That day, however, I was thankful for the opportunity to answer honestly, even if I did not unpack in that moment what it really meant. That would come out a little more, later, in another Zoom meeting where there was more time and freedom to express some underlying thoughts and feelings.
So, while we’re here, let’s talk about the last several weeks. I turned forty-seven, celebrating the day with my son’s request to also celebrate his high school graduation at an amusement park along with my husband, his dad. He’s our youngest of three. Then we helped set up for and attended a week-long event with our colleagues—interfacing with old friends, talking about where we’ve been, who we’ve become, and what we’re currently experiencing. Some conversation was encouraging, other information was heartbreaking. The schedule was constant, but there were also reprieves where less energy was needed. Afterwards, instead of state lines being crossed, we flew over the Gulf seas and spent time with our ministry team in-person the following week. Highs and lows occurred there with great moments of connection and teaching and prayer, but also some disappointments regarding Covid and expectations plummeting around a planned surprise. Ten days later, here we are back at the starting point, having returned to routines only to have the college school year begin for our three adult children. That’s a lot that happened in a relatively short span of time! No wonder my mind and response were a bit reactionary, especially after eighteen months of little to no travel or large gatherings.
As women in ministry, to be sure, we need safe spaces to express ourselves honestly and openly. If you don’t have that, I urge you to seek out a Connect group or other Jesus-centered support. But sometimes all the things stack up, and we’re tempted to express ourselves where it’s inappropriate or unwelcome. We can make others feel uncomfortable or even not want to be around us. The last thing I would want is to break connection with someone or turn them off by my indiscretion. So, imagine the smile on my face when I heard about a new approach, especially regarding casual conversation with others.
Since experiencing those recent events, I happened upon a bit of reframing advice in a comedic video clip by The Holderness Family that was profound to me. It impacted me deeply, as comedy often does in all the seriousness of life. This is the new challenge to myself for the foreseeable future. Instead of asking “How are you?”, I will try asking, “What’s good right now?” And maybe, when I hear that question asked of me, I can respond by saying, “Here’s what’s good…”
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9 NIV
If you’re interested in the comedy video I watched, you can view it here.
Kelly and her husband, Dave, have been Southern Missouri District missionaries since 2006, currently serving in the role of Mexico Area Directors. She also has been active online in the Refresh Connect groups and leadership team, recently receiving her ordination with the district. They have 3 adult children and a mini schnauzer.
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